Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Andrew R. Brulle


In an effort to design learning materials which de-emphasize the decoding process, and concentrate instead upon cognitive and critical thinking processes, picture study has been chosen as a potentially effective vehicle for providing delivery of programs for remediation of reading problems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of training in visual cognitive skills as an alternative remedial technique for increasing the reading comprehension of children whose reading skills are considered to be lower than expected due to a learning disability. The population was a group of children in grades four, five, and six (n=34) in a rural, midwestern elementary school. The study was conducted using a Pretest-Post-test Control Group experimental design. Over a period of 8 weeks, the experimental group received 14 lessons in picture study, each of 20-minute duration, while the control group received 14 lessons, each of 20-minute duration, in which other methods of reading remediation were used. The subjects were instructed by university seniors during a practicum in methods of teaching in learning disabilities, following assignment to experimental and control groups by random number generator. Statistical analysis of the data suggested that the two groups were equivalent on factors of age, grade levels, I.Q. levels, and pretest scores. After the post test, gain scores were computed, and a Mann-Whitney U test was performed on the differences in gain scores between the experimental and control groups. The experimental hypothesis was supported (α< .02) suggesting that visual cognitive training did increase reading comprehension scores. The results of the study indicate that there is support for the hypothesis that children can be taught to read more effectively through instruction in cognitive skills.